Grace Durham is an award-winning young mezzo-soprano and a National Opera Studio Young Artist 2016/17. Born in London, she trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with Susan Waters before joining the Alexander Gibson Opera School at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under the tutelage of Patricia Hay. Awards include the Bruce Millar Gulliver Prize 2016, Second Prize at the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2015, Audience Prize and “Banque Chaix” Prize at the Opéra Grand Avignon Jeunes Espoirs competition 2015, and First Prize and Audience Prize at the GSMD Chartered Surveyors’ Award for Voice 2014. She also holds a first-class honours degree in Modern and Medieval Languages from Clare College, Cambridge.
Grace’s operatic experience includes, most recently, Prince Charmant Cendrillon and the title role in Carmen as part of the National Opera Studio's residency at Welsh National Opera, and Rosina Il barbiere di Siviglia and Charlotte Werther at Scottish Opera. Her full operatic roles include Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro and Dorabella Così fan tutte (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), Owl The Cunning Little Vixen (Garsington Opera), Moppet Paul Bunyan (British Youth Opera), and Hermia A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shadwell Opera). In 2016, she joined Glyndebourne Festival Opera for a second season as cover Frantík The Cunning Little Vixen and as a member of the chorus in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Le nozze di Figaro and Béatrice et Bénédict, having started in 2015 in Die Entführung aus dem Serail.
Grace is also an active recitalist both in France and in the UK, and particularly in the French 20th-century repertoire. She recently made her recital débuts at the Les Journées Ravel festival in Montfort-L’Amaury, the Printemps de l’Académie Ravel in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, and at the Opéra Grand Avignon. In 2015, she was awarded the Académie Ravel Grand Prix for her performances of Ravel’s Shéhérazade and invited composer Thierry Escaich’s Visions Nocturnes, and together with French-Canadian pianist Juliane Gallant devised and performed Sous le ciel de Paris, a cabaret concert celebrating Francis Poulenc, Jean Cocteau and Edith Piaf, at the St James Studio in London. As a concert soloist, her repertoire includes Bach Mass in B Minor, St John Passion and St Matthew Passion, Mahler Resurrection Symphony and Duruflé Requiem.
In August 2017, Grace will join the Semperoper Dresden as a member of the Junges Ensemble; her roles in the 2017/18 season will include Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro,Mercédès Carmen, Lucienne Die Tote Stadt and Second Lady Die Zauberflöte.
"...I was particularly struck by mezzo Grace Durham, a natural performer who communicated particularly persuasively..." (Brian Dickie)